A Crafter's Life, Books, Music, Podcasts

Tuesday…an update

The past five Mondays I hiked up or walked around Pilot Butte and shared my tale.

Sunday evening, 5/15/16,  I returned from a four-day quilt retreat at Sew-N-Go Quilt Retreat with my longtime “Quilt Sisters” from Oregon, Washington and California. Monday I spent recovering from my drive and unpacking (unpacking did involve trying to figure out what to do with the new fabric and quilting tools I acquired while at the quilt retreat…other quilters are bad influences!).

So I skipped Pilot Butte on Monday. I am not sure if the 2 mile walk with Terry “the Quilting Husband” and the dogs made up for it, but at least I did something besides fondling my new fabric purchases.

I will share my adventures related to quilt retreating in my posts the rest of this week, but I wanted to follow up on last week’s post The Monday, Post “Yard Bark Mulching” in which I discussed “xeriscaping” (low water landscaping with native plants) and laying down endless bark mulch.

One of the tierneycreates blog readers asked to see photos and here they are:

Xeriscaped Front Yard (with fresh hemlock bark mulch)

Another example of a Central Oregon xeriscaped yard from my neighborhood (they used rocks instead of bark mulch):


Gratuitous flower photo: My lovely irises in bloom


If you want to read more about xeriscaping check out the online publication Introduction to Xeriscaping in the High Desert.


As I mentioned, the rest of the week I will share stories and photos from the quilt retreat I attended.

Currently I listening to the audiobook – The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life by Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh.

Parts of this book seem fairly esoteric, while other parts are deeply profound and very accessible. If you can be patient through some of the more scholarly sections (the author is a Harvard professor) you will be rewarded with timeless insights into human nature from ancient Chinese philosophers.

I feel I grow more enlightened by listening to this excellent audiobook.

The disease of men is that they neglect their own fields and go to weed the fields of others. – Mencius

Photo credit: simonandschuster.com
A Crafter's Life, Outside Adventures!

The Monday, Post “Yard Bark Mulching”

This morning I read in a WordPress blogging forum, that you should always have an engaging title to your  blogpost. An engaging title will entice existing readers and potential new readers to click on the link and read the post.

What could be more exciting and engaging to read about than yard bark mulch? I am bristling with excitement just typing these thrilling words:

Y-A-R-D  B-A-R-K  M-U-L-C-H.

No. There is nothing even remotely exciting about putting mulch in your yard.

No worries, this post is not about yard bark mulch; it an update on what happened with this week’s visit to Pilot Butte for my weekly hike (see my previous post Monday on the “Butte”). Okay I do provide a little background on the yard bark mulch situation just so you can understand why I chose a different Pilot Butte experience today.


We had 6 yards of hemlock bark mulch delivered on Thursday. We were convinced (or deluded) that we could,  by Saturday, get all that mulch spread around the front and back yards of our house (and still be able to walk). I guess we thought our bodies had suddenly become the bodies of athletic 18 year olds with extensive recent manual labor experience…

Several years ago we “xeriscaped” – removed our front lawn and planted native plants and grasses.

In the Central Oregon’s high desert, if you want to grow anything, you have to use irrigation. Xeriscaping allows you to use less water/irrigation to keep up your yard. We receive little rainfall in Central Oregon (hence the beautiful blue skies). This limits what will grow in Central Oregon without irrigation/watering.

Bark mulching our xeriscaped yard helps it to maintain moisture (and look more aesthetically pleasing). Every couple of years we have to refresh the mulch.

If you would like to learn more about xeriscaping and creating a low water consuming landscape you can check out Oregon.gov’s online publication: Introduction to Xeriscaping in the High Desert. (Central Oregon is known as the “high desert” as we are at 3600+ ft above sea level elevation and we have a low average yearly rainfall).

When we lived in Seattle, Washington, where there is plenty of rainfall, I never appreciated gardening. Now I live in a land where growing anything is challenging and I am fascinated with gardening and landscaping.

As a bonus to the challenge of growing plants in Central Oregon, we are a geologic volcanic landscape (No, no, no – NO live volcanos – my blogging won’t suddenly be cut off by lava flow…but we do have many extinct volcanos here).

Our soil is coarse, has a sandy texture and tends to be very sterile with minimal organic matter (OSU “Central Oregon Climate”). Central Oregon is not for “gardening sissies”!

So where am I going with all this information? Well this is all relates to what happened today during my weekly hike on Pilot Butte. I was extremely sore from laying down bark mulch over the past 3 days, that my knees told me I may not hike up Pilot Butte today.

With some tedious negotiation I was about to convince my knees (and my sore back) that they could WALK AROUND Pilot Butte.

I didn’t want to just abandon my weekly Pilot Butte experience (every Monday for the past 4 weeks) so I thought “as long as I walk around the base of Pilot Butte that would still count as doing the Butte”!

Here are photos from the ground level of Pilot Butte as I walked approximately 2.5 miles in a loop at the base of Pilot Butte. My knees are not speaking to me right now but I think by tomorrow we will make up with each other.

The Loop – I did 8+ laps around the path while listening of course to an audiobook! Nearly 2.5 miles.


The Day – another beautiful blue sky day with a couple solitary clouds here and there.


The Walk – photos from walking around the loop to give you a feel of the view from the base of Pilot Butte.




BONUS – some of our beautiful volcanic rocky and pumice soil that I get to try and grow things in!


Enjoy your week!